To put it bluntly, Plaxico Burress has no shot at becoming an Eagle. Over this past weekend a NY Daily News sports writer named Gary Myers casually mentioned in an article that he “heard” the Eagles will “eventually be the first in line” for some sort of private mini-camp that Myers himself merely suggested Burress should hold (in order to gain interest in him). Of course this story spread like a California wild fire around Philadelphia.
I can’t say I’m too familiar with Gary Myers but I’ve heard he’s a decent journalist. However, saying that he “heard” this is just like me reporting on something one of my buddies told me in a conversation. I’m not taking anything away from Myers here because the essence of him hearing something is to be assumed it came from someone in the know. My guess is that he heard it from someone close to Burress (his agent perhaps?) and that person is just trying to drum up interest in him once he’s released from prison.
There is little chance of this happening. Where would Burress fit in? Our top 2 wide receiver positions are set with Jackson and Maclin. Jason Avant is a solid slot receiver and valued special teams member. Riley Cooper is a player on the rise and also has special teams value. Heck, even Chad Hall could prove to be more valuable than Burress.
Let’s think for a minute. If he did actually come here, it would be as a 3rd receiver at best. He is not a slot receiver so that would mean we’d likely have to move Maclin into the slot whenever we ran a 3 receiver formation (which is often). Maclin isn’t really the kind of guy who likes going over the middle either so I don’t think it would sit well with him and his production would likely drop. We need to keep him on the outside.
Would Burress embrace being the 4th receiver? Not likely. He certainly wouldn’t bring any value to the special teams. The only value he would actually bring is as a target in the red zone. I’ll admit, in that fashion it would be nice to have him on the team. But Reid has never liked the “fade pass” so that play, which puts the emphasis on a receiver’s height and jumping skills, would never even be a part of the game plan.
Plus, Burress will be 34 in August and hasn’t played football since November of 2008. Add on the fact we’re in a lockout situation so it’s likely that he won’t get a training camp or much football practice before the start of the season. He will be virtually useless in 2011 to any team. Michael Vick took an entire year to regain his ability and he’s 3 years younger. If we gave Burress a year to regain his form, then we’re looking at a 35 year old receiver who’s talents began diminishing before his arrest anyway.
In a nutshell, he brings virtually no value to the team and though the Eagles are good for a surprise sometimes, I have to think there is no chance he is on their radar.